Sabbath, Saxon, Purple, Whitesnake, Kiss and Queen names among those paying tribute after the death of rock and blues powerhouse

Gary Moore

Tributes: Moore died suddenly on Sunday at 58

The family of Gary Moore have thanked fans from all over the world for their messages of support and goodwill after the rock and blues guitarist died suddenly in Spain on Sunday.

In a statement the Moores say: “Gary is survived by four children: daughters Saoirse and Lily and sons Jack and Gus. We take great comfort in the fact he died of natural causes and was looking forward to his holiday prior to recording a new album. Gary was thrilled with new guitars he had just bought and was planning to play shows throughout the world later this year.”

The family have requested privacy and say they won’t be making any further comments at the moment.

Meanwhile, fans and musicians all over the world have been paying tribute to Moore, who was 58, including those who worked with him and were influenced by his music.

Mike Amott, Arch Enemy: “Growing up in the 80s in Sweden you couldn’t avoid Gary. America had Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen, we had Michael Schenker and Gary. There are so many Mooreisms in our music and that’s something we’re very proud of.”

Bill Byford, Saxon: “We knew Gary back in the 80s and we went to a few of his album recording sessions. I hung out with him and Phil Lynott in Stringfellows once – it was quite a messy evening although I didn’t drink at the time. It’s very sad to lose him.”

Lindsay Brown, Eagle Rock Entertainment: “He was a giant of contemporary guitarists. We feel honoured to have worked with him – and called him a friend. He leaves a gap that simply cannot be filled.”

Steve Morse, Deep Purple: “Our Don Airey always spoke fondly of his playing and I’m a fan as well. It was lively and energetic but tasteful at the same time. I never knew him, but all of us in Purple are shocked at the loss.”

Paul Rodgers: “Gary was a friend and a truly great man. I respect that he played the game his way: no time for bullshit. The last time I jammed with him he came on as my special guest at the Royal Albert Hall. He took it to another level – the place imploded. When he played he was a man on fire. If there hadn’t been an ocean between us and if Gary hadn’t minded flying we’d have created more music together. I’m very, very sad.”

Howard Leese: “Jamming with Gary when the Paul Rodgers band played the Royal Albert Hall was a pleasure. He was a great player: very fast but clean.”

Pat Simmons, Doobie Brothers: “I had the pleasure of meeting him when he was with Thin Lizzy. I remember having a beer with him when we were on tour: he was a gentle soul and quietly friendly. A few years later I started really listening to his music and became a huge fan. He was one of the greatest blues players of our time. It’s obvious his heart belonged to the blues but he rocked with a vengeance too. I was hoping I’d have the chance to see him somewhere soon – now he’s jamming with the immortals and I’ll have to wait a while longer.”

Eric Singer, Kiss: “I joined Gary’s band in 1987 via Bob Daisley. He and Neil Carter lived in Brighton and would have to leave in time to make their train. But Gary and I would sometimes stay on and jam, just drums and guitar. We’d play Lizzy tunes or just jam endlessly because he never ran out of ideas. This man played every song and note like it was the last time he’d ever play it. He therefore demanded the same from his band. I have to admit he could be tough on drummers, but he only asked for what he gave himself. I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me. It was an experience and an education I’ll take with me wherever I go.”

Bob Daisley: “He was one of the greatest guitar players ever and a nice bloke with it. I have many fond memories of our years together. Mere words can never convey such sadness in such loss. We’ll miss you, mate.”

Mick Box, Uriah Heep: “I remember first meeting Gary when he was on the brink of leaving Skid Row. We shared a few drinks and discussed our love of Jeff Beck’s playing, and had a great evening. Since then we’ve met many times, mostly on the road where we shared the same stage at many a festival. He had a wonderful touch and his tone was always spot-on. His playing will be sadly missed, as will the man himself, who touched so many people.”

Gary Ferguson, ex Gary Moore Band: “I am so sad my old colleague is gone. I really wanted to play music with him again. He was inspirational to me because he played with so much passion.”

Tommy Aldridge, ex Gary Moore, ex Thin Lizzy: “I had the privilege of working with Gary on a couple of albums and tours. Coincidentally it was during the same time I met Randy Rhoads. Talk about a double-whammy… The fact that Randy was a fan of Gary’s says it all. His sheer athleticism on the guitar was exceeded only by his true musicianship. He loved a good laugh but led a disciplined life. I am blessed to have known him.”

Joe Lynn Turner: “I’ve played with some of the best in the business and when asked if I wanted to do a project with someone else I always said, ‘Gary Moore’. Maybe it’s little-known but I’m a guitarist myself – I only became a singer by accident. So I can really appreciate Gary’s playing. He was also a great guy and very down-to-earth, which is impressive to say the least.”

Rich Williams, Kansas: “I was in a dressing room in El Paso. Thin Lizzy had opened for us in the past so I didn’t bother go to and check them out. But I could hear someone really tearing it up. I remember asking, ‘Who the fuck is playing guitar?’ It was Gary. I had to meet him. We did what guitar players do: we talked gear. He handed me his pride and joy, the Les Paul he’d recently got from Peter Green. To my surprise I could hardly play it – he used very heavy gauge strings, high off the neck like a slide guitar player. He played it with such ease but I couldn’t even make a bar chord. I felt like a total pussy.”

Mark Kendall, Great White: “I call it ‘playing from the pores of your skin’, and Gary definitely had the ability to do that. In 1988 we were on tour with Whitesnake and I became pretty good friends with Vivian Campbell. One night I told Viv I really loved a live solo, and could he show me what he was doing? He showed me the trick: ‘All I do is play it all over the neck and it sounds like I’m playing more, but I’m not.’ Then he said: ‘I stole it from Gary Moore’.”

Neil Murray: “I don’t think I ever heard him play a wrong note. He was able to effortlessly become Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Carlos Santana or Jimi Hendrix. I wish I’d had the chance to play blues with him but that came later in his career.”

Joe Bonamassa: “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for Gary. And I’m sure I’m not the only person who can say that.”

Kee Marcello, Europe: “His sense for melodies reminded me of Jeff Back. He had superior technique, melody and feel, and knew where to play and where not to play.”

Bob Geldof: “Axl Rose will say that without Thin Lizzy you don’t get Guns n’Roses, and that whole idea of rock’n'roll. Gary was fundamental in developing that twin-guitar lyrical thing. But you didn’t have to cut the skin hard to find a great blues player. Absolutely one of the best.”

Ozzy Osbourne: “I knew Gary for what seemed like for ever. I recorded Led Clones on his After the War album and it was great fun. To say his death is a tragic loss doesn’t seem to give it the justice it deserves. We’ve lost a phenomenal musician and a great friend.”

Roger Taylor, Queen: “I have great memories of Gary on tour: always smiling, always very cheerful. He was too young to die. Virtuosity is something we really don’t have now – there are lots of great bands but the emphasis just isn’t on that any more. In those days it was all about how great you were, and he was a star player.”

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